The doctors' union, the IMO, has said the HSE's service plan for 2014 is an 'austerity charter ' for the health services next year.
IMO President Dr Matthew Sadlier claimed waiting lists would increase as a result of the €600 milliion-plus cuts to services.
The HSE, he said, was wrong to persist with plans to extend GP visit cards to all children under six at the same time as it was recalling them from older people who have depended on them for years.
"There is little doubt that we are facing into a new year with a budget for our health services that we all know is simply not adequate to provide the level of care necessary," Dr Sadlier said.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) criticised the plan to cut health staff by a further 3,600 and the failure to learn the lessons of the Mid-Staffordshire hospital scandal in the UK, which found that reaching targets became more important than patient care, leading to hundreds of avoidable patient deaths.
The INMO said it would now refer to the LRC its longstanding claim for the lifting of the nurse rectuitment ban.
"The Government's continued insistence on imposing severe cuts upon our public health service is inexplicable when the reality of the demands facing the service is apparent to everyone else, " INMO General Secretary Liam Doran said.
Meanwhile, the Irish Cancer Society has expressed concern that resources have not been made available in the HSE plan to extend the BreastCheck screening programmein 2014 to women aged 65 to 69 years, despite a commitment to do so in the Programme for Government.
€1bn targeted in cuts/savings.